As a kid, my mom used to tell me stories about big Italian Sunday Suppers with her father’s family – giant pots of red sauce simmering all day, fresh pastas, breaded chicken cutlets, and crusty bread. Sadly [for me], I have never experienced the big Italian feasts my mom did as a girl, but my grandmother used to make day long sauces (p.s. always better the next day!) that we would frequently enjoy over chicken parmesan.
My grandmother wasn’t the biggest ‘chef’ you would meet, but her sauces bring such wonderful, comforting memories to me. My grandma also had her quirks (makes for better stories, right?) but had a good heart, and would volunteer for the Meals on Wheels in her neighborhood; delivering meals to seniors in need. Nowadays, I try and make my grandmother’s sauce with a few of my own favorite ingredients; including a good red wine. Gallo Family’s Cabernet Sauvignon is perfect for this sauce. Its blackberry and black currant components are balanced by just a hint of oak for a smoothness that really brings grandma’s sauce to the next level.
When I’m done making my sauce, I can upload a photo of my Gallo Family cork online to Every Cork Counts, where, for every cork received (either by mail, or electronically), Gallo Family Vineyards will donate $1 to the Meals On Wheels Association of America (up to $50,000) from now until December 31, 2014. So not only do I get to honor my grandmother with my own version of her sauce, but I can help contribute to her favorite charity.
I like to make a big batch to freeze. That way, when I am craving something comforting, I have a bit readily on hand, at any given time. I especially love to add this sauce to a good, crusty, baguette with shredded chicken to make a perfectly, pressed chicken parmesan panini – it’s the best of both worlds! A classic red sauce, turned into a sandwich, which just happens to be my second favorite comfort food (yes, all the sandwiches are my fave. thankyouverymuch). A chilled glass of Gallo Family Vineyards Pinot Grigio goes wonderfully with this panini; pairing well with poultry, and acidic foods, like tomatoes. A toasty, saucy, parmesan panini with a glass of wine? If that doesn’t scream comfort, than I just can’t help you, my friend. You can save a dollar on your next bottle of Gallo Family wine online, here (if you’re unsure if Gallo Family wines are in your area, locate them here!).
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup Gallo Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 8 oz raw chicken breast
- 1 to 1 1/2 cup homemade marinara sauce, plus more for serving
- 4 small baguette, or ciabatta loaves
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, wine, and tomato paste. Add dried spices, salt and pepper. Stir to combine, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
- While sauce is simmering, place the chicken breast in a small pot and fill with enough water just to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat slightly, then simmer for about 12 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and let cool before shredding with two forks. Mix the chicken with half of the marinara sauce in a seperate bowl.
- Slice the bread loaves in half. Slather the bottom layer of the bread with marinara sauce and shredded chicken breast. Add another spoonful of sauce, a few slices of fresh mozzarella, parmesan cheese and then top with spinach. Add the top half of the bread on and carefully place the panini in a heated panini press. Close the panini press and cook for 4-5 minutes until the bread has grill marks and it's slight toasted.
What is your ultimate comfort meal? Don’t forget to snag more comforting recipes below!
Comforting Appetizers and Beverages:
- Acorn Squash Cheese Spread with Spinach and Artichokes by Ruffles & Truffles
- Pomegranate Mulled Wine by The Messy Baker
Comforting Entrees, Soups, and Stews:
- Beef and Mushroom Pot Pie by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Beef Goulash by Magnolia Days
- Beef Stew with Puff Pastry by Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Cheesy French Onion Soup by Life Tastes Good
- Chicken and Corn Chowder by The Girl In the Little Red Kitchen
- Chicken Parmesan Panini by Casa de Crews
- Classic Swiss Fondue by Kudos Kitchen by Renee
- French Onion Soup au Gratin Stuffed Meatloaf by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Johnny Marzetti by NeighborFood
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts Flatbread by Family Foodie
- White Wine Cream Sauce Poached Shrimp by A Mama, Baby & Shar-pei in the Kitchen
Comforting Side Dishes:
- Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Parmesan and Dates by Shockingly Delicious
- Stuffed Acorn Squash by Jelly Toast
Comforting Brunch, Desserts, and Sweets:
- Baked Pumpkin French Toast by Alida’s Kitchen
- Cheesecake Bites with Red Wine Chocolate Sauce by Momma’s Meals
- Dark Chocolate Red Wine Cake with Red Wine Raspberry Sauce by Daily Dish Recipes
- Gooey Autumn Spice Brownie Cups by Desserts Required
- Pear Streusel Coffee Cake by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement. **Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.**